From Teresa Varley’s “Bye Week Blog“:
Last week quarterback Ben Roethlisberger dished out a huge compliment to rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth, something that holds a lot of water when it comes from an 18-year veteran.
“I think he’s doing a really good job,” said Roethlisberger. “I probably need to be better getting him involved more because I trust him, he’s in the right spot. It’s on me to get him more involved. I need to start making a more conscious effort to do that.”
On Sunday, Freiermuth was targeted seven times, and proved Roethlisberger right with seven catches for 58 yards.
So is Freiermuth becoming Roethlisberger’s security blanket?
“I hope so,” said Freiermuth with a smile. “It was an awesome feeling getting the targets I did this past weekend, but I’ve got to continue to improve and continue to be there for him when he needs me.”
Freiermuth and Roethlisberger are continually building their relationship and trust, something that happens on the field as well as off with conversations and advice.
“Sometimes it’s just understanding what he thinks that we should do on a route, or what we see and just having that back and forth conversations,” said Freiermuth. “Understanding where we’re going to be in the route game and even the run game.
“It’s very valuable having a quarterback that’s been in the league as long as he has. Learning from a future Hall of Famer and understanding what he sees in the game and how I can implement that into my game.
“We’re building that relationship and it’s an everyday thing. He’s had us over his house a couple times just to get used to us and all that kind of stuff. It’s been awesome.”
Freiermuth also said he has learned just observing some of the things Roethlisberger does on a day-to-day basis.
“It’s how to prepare,” said Freiermuth. “He probably watches the most film on the team, just trying to feel out how the defense does things, trying to stop our offense and kind of understanding what it takes to prepare to go into a game and be successful.”
You can read more from the Bye Week Blog here.
It’s really tough. Going through it with Ryan [Shazier], brought back a lot of memories. It is hard to re-focus after something like that. Wish him nothing but the best, our prayers are going to him and his family. Prayers was going on while on the field, but we’re going to continue to pray for him. — Ben, on the injury to Seahawks DE Darrell Taylor.
We don’t think about losing. I’m just disappointed [that] we didn’t finish it in regulation when we had a chance, and hate that my kids had to stay up so late with school tomorrow. — Ben AKA Dad.
I was told that even though the ball was going forward, my arm was going backwards. So I had to ask Josh Dobbs, who is an aerospace engineer how that works…he said it’s not possible. But I can’t get fined for that because I’m just telling you what Dobbs said! (smiles) — Ben, on the explanation he was given on the “fumble” ruling.
Talk about emotions! Ben Roethlisberger greets Seattle QB Geno Smith after an incredible overtime win for the #Steelers. Smith’s fumble was recovered by TJ Watt & set up Chris Boswell’s game winning field goal. #HereWeGo @KDKA pic.twitter.com/2zjd28VEGC
— Ian Smith (@ismithKDKA) October 18, 2021
You can’t replace JuJu! It’s awful. I’ll speak selfishly, I’m hurt. I miss that guy, what he brings to this team, his energy, his excitement, the leadership. It sucks. It really does. And I’m not the one hurt. I spoke to him on Sunday night, and I felt his pain through the phone, speaking to his mom as welll. It’s just sometimes things aren’t fair, and we don’t know why they happen. A guy that’s given so much, means so much to this team and to me specifically. It’s not fair. — Ben.
From Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:
Roethlisberger said he feels horrible for Smith-Schuster, who suffered a shoulder injury in the win over the Denver Broncos at Heinz Field on Sunday.
While you can’t replace him, the other receivers will definitely have to step up in his absence, with this being a big opportunity for guys like James Washington, Ray-Ray McCloud and Cody White to get more balls thrown their way.
Lots of big opportunities for Ray-Ray, for James. Cody is going to get his shot I’m sure. We need guys, because it seems like every week one of the guys have been down for something. Moving forward now without JuJu, we’re going to need everyone to be healthy as much as they can be every week. I think James is excited for the opportunity. I think Ray-Ray is as well. We’re going to have to utilize a lot of people.
Roethlisberger said you have to be cautious about who you have play inside with Smith-Schuster out, not wanting to throw someone there that will take away a strength elsewhere, such as Chase Claypool who can provide a threat with the deep ball outside.
Playing the slot position in the NFL is different than playing outside. It’s just a different animal. I think we have a lot of guys that can do it, but it’s a feel thing. You don’t want to take away a big body outside that’s got special skills. I think you’ll see some more utilization of the tight ends and running backs in there, and different guys.
Another player who could get more passes coming his way is tight end Pat Freiermuth. The rookie has been a steady weapon for Roethlisberger, with 11 receptions for 100 yards, a 9.1-yard average. But his quarterback wants to get him even more involved.
I think […]